The other day, I found out what it might be like to be famous. Not properly famous: not papped-putting-the-bins-out famous. But, you know, famous in the same way that finding 10p under your bed makes you rich.
My fame comes courtesy of a guy who spotted me on a date last week. He’d recognised me via OkCupid, or recognised my hairline anyway – as he disclosed on his message, he was was sitting several tables away and the other diners’ shoulders blocked out my face.
A perplexing situation, you might imagine, given how dissimilar I look from my photos. (Exacerbated by the fact I was wearing a fake tache.) But no, it was definitely me he’d seen. The restaurant, the day of the week, what my date’s back looked like – this guy could have scored full marks on a situational awareness quiz.
It actually isn’t the first time I’ve been spotted. It’s the third time, to my knowledge. I was once recognised as I hurtled to work like a panicked wildebeest with a sweat-on. I was once recognised in the queue for a nightclub. And now things have come full circle and I’ve been recognised on a date.
This is probably becoming an increasingly common experience in the internet age. Now that everybody has facebook, and everybody idly clicks through their friends’ photo albums and then gets sidetracked by their friend’s friends’ photos of their friends of friends until they find before they know it it’s 3 in the morning and they have to get up in four hours, it is not unusual to see someone in the street and recognise them from your cousin’s girlfriend’s colleague’s holiday ‘Malaga 2008’.
Still, being recognised via OkCupid feels somehow weirder. I think it’s because, while Facebook is a place for public display – a meeting hall, if you like – OkCupid is more like a private antechamber. Here, we are dealing with clandestine matters – our sexual preferences, and What We’re Looking For and how we’d feel about being tickled with a feather at the point of no return. If someone sees you in real life, the two worlds collide, and a stranger knows you scored Playstation on the Slut Test.
Have any of you had similar experiences? If so, were you similarly disconcerted? For my part, I’m hoping this is as famous as I’ll get. Were I to marry Brad Pitt, I don’t think I could face being dubbed ‘Brabi’.